My daughter, like just about every other little girl in the world, has become obsessed with the movie, Frozen. While watching the movie for the 436th time, I was once again caught off guard by the response to fear.
Run; hide; isolate. All of those responses only intensify the fear inside of us. Fear seems to run in the veins of our race. Fear drives us away from our passion. It keeps us from making decisions. It consumes us.
Fear is the most dangerous disease affecting most creatives. Worry stifles the ability to create. Anxiety hinders the ability to produce our best. Fear breaks down focus.
We can’t fight fear unless we identify the fears that plague us. Today, we’ll look at 4 of the major fears creatives fight.
1. It Won’t Work
As a creative, you constantly fight against the fear that your ideas might not be as good as you think. That’s the thing about ideas; they aren’t concrete yet. You are not sure if they will work, if they are right, or if they even matter. With everything you create, you must fight against the uncertainty about whether the idea is worth going after. When you create, you must fight against the voice in your ears telling you it just won’t work. The fear of failure is a creative prison…and confidence in your creativity is the key to unlocking your potential.
2. It Didn’t Work
If the fear of future failure is frightening, the fear that comes with past failure is paralyzing. You’re a creative. You produce ideas. Some are good. Some are bad. But you can’t allow past failures to stop you from creating something better. Just because the last idea didn’t work, doesn’t mean the next one won’t. The fear of trying again will keep you from seeing your vision become reality. It’s time to stop allowing your past to dictate your future. It’s time to tug on the proverbial bootstraps. It’s time for you to face the fear and try again.
3. It Might Work
Probably the most odd fear is the fear of success. Many of you have a head full of creative ideas, great creative ideas. Other people have told you how great your ideas are. People who are experts have told you your ideas will work. But you respond with “awww shucks” responses because you are afraid. You’re afraid they might all be right. You’re afraid that you will actually have to own the success. You’re afraid of the mountain of hard work standing between a concept and its corresponding reality. You’re afraid you will have to repeat with another great idea. The question you really have to answer isn’t “What will happen if it works?” The question you must answer is “What will happen if I never try?”
4. The Well Is Dry
The last fear for any creative is the fear our creativity will go away. You don’t know why you’re creative. You don’t understand why you come up with creative connections. You don’t know why you dream of great design. But, you’re probably afraid someday you won’t. You are afraid you will hit a wall. You’re afraid the creative well only holds so much water, and you’re afraid the bucket will hit rock bottom any minute. Every time an idea doesn’t come quickly, you worry that it’s all over. But where does all that worry get you? All you can control is the present. All you can do is create today. All you can do is trust your ability to build connections between reality and ideation will continue tomorrow. The fear of a dry well is nothing more than a waste of time and energy, a distraction from what you know you can do today.
Name your fear today. Name it, and fight it.
Which of these are fears are yours? Where do you find yourself today? What did I miss?
(Please note that I was tempted to end this post with a “Let it go”, but I didn’t want to get that one started in your head.)